International Competition Policy Working Group - Principles

  1. Competition policy and enforcement should be transparent, predictable, stable over time and consistent across jurisdictions.
  2. Sound economic analysis should be the basis of all competition investigations and enforcement decisions.
  3. Competition policy should be focused on limiting distortions of the market brought about by anti-competitive private and public sector practices.
  4. Competition policy should respect and provide for the protection of legitimate property rights, including intangible property.
  5. Competition and trade policy are complementary. The benefits of international trade will be lost if markets do not operate in pro-competitive ways. The goal of trade and competition policy should be to ensure that economies gain from open markets, and that the gains of trade are not lost to consumers by government or private actions that are not supportive of an efficiency driven approach to competition policy.
  6. Competition policy should not be used as an industrial policy tool by governments to achieve protectionist goals that circumvent commitments to trade and open markets.
  7. Competition policy should apply equivalent tests to both private firms and state-owned companies. It is understood that this may require the use of different tests in order to ensure non-discrimination, based on the fact that state-owned companies may be revenue as opposed to profit maximizers.
  8. Without better cooperation among international regulators divergent approaches to competition policy will lead to different results that can have negative impacts that subvert the goal of creating innovative and competitive markets.
  9. Competition remedies should also be applied in ways that are consumer welfare enhancing, and need to make sense in an increasingly globally interconnected world.
  10. Due process is critical in any competition investigation. Companies should have the right to be represented by counsel and the sensitive business information uncovered during an investigation should be protected.